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WWII veteran kneels in support of NFL anthem protests

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On a day when NFL teams grabbed the nation’s attention by coordinating demonstrations during the national anthem, a 97-year-old World War II veteran went viral with a solitary show of support for the protests.

Brennan Gilmore posted a Twitter picture Sunday morning of his grandfather, John Middlemas, kneeling while wearing a veteran’s cap. Gilmore wrote: “My grandpa is a 97 year-old WWII vet & Missouri farmer who wanted to join w/ those who #TakeaKnee: ‘those kids have every right to protest.’”

Middlemas is a farmer from Willard, Missouri. He tells the Springfield News-Leader he wanted to communicate “that you have to love everybody.” He adds: “We don’t kill people. We want to make people live.”

The image has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter.

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